Much to the  joy of political comedians, recent years have seen a sharp increase in international political gaffs thanks to the Internet and the ease with which stupid comments can go viral. And Japan is no stranger to this trend, with numerous politicians having resigned after letting inappropriate jokes slip to the wrong reporter.

Now one Japanese career bureaucrat in his 50s is in hot water for his inflammatory, supposedly anonymous blog posts. But many Japanese netizens feel his punishment is far too light.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry bureaucrat, whose name has not been officially released, has admitted to writing the rather provocative–some might even say heartless and stupid–blog posts currently causing a ruckus online. In his post, the middle-aged man wrote that “the restoration [in the Tohoku area] is unnecessary,” and suggested that the elderly should “hurry up and die.”

Here’s one sentence from September, 2011 that seems to have really riled up Internet users.

“The government is glossing over the fact that we’re taking money from people across Japan, who have to support children in the future, in order to build ports and banks just to stop the grumbling of retirees and old farts who’ve long ago passed the retirement age when they started getting pension money and simply don’t want to move or give up their vested fishing rights, living in the underpopulated rias areas which were already practically in ruins.”

In addition to the above comments, the anonymous bureaucrat called people who played baseball in the park “cockroaches.” He also wrote that politicians who don’t say that the restoration of the Tohoku area is unnecessary should just die.

His suspension, which took effect on September 26, was for lowering people’s trust of government officials. In addition to the two-month suspension, the bureaucrat lost his position as the Japanese government’s representative to the Expo Milan 2015. This information perhaps led to the man’s identification on the Internet, with his name and photo having been published on some Japanese websites.

Japanese netizens reacted strongly to the situation.

This guy is just too horrible.

He’s a child in his 50s.

Bureaucrats and the government aren’t applying themselves to helping the disaster areas, and it sure seems like there are a lot of people who think “Restoration isn’t necessary.”

Suspended for just two months? What the hell? He should quit!

Guess he didn’t think he’d be identified.

The only unnecessary thing is you! Just two months suspension? That’s far too lenient.

Arrrg! He let the truth about what they’re all really thinking slip out without meaning to.

If you really think that restoration isn’t necessary because of depopulation, say it after you’ve met with the same treatment. Makes you wonder if people who say this kind of thing don’t have hometowns or if they’ve just abandoned them.

All bureaucrats think like this more or less. The ministers are just there for show, and the bureaucrats aren’t actually in the public eye. The country can’t improve like this.

Now, the Japanese constitution does protect free speech, but when thinking of the nearly 290,000 people still living as refugees in the Tohoku area, this guy’s comments seem particularly cruel and heartless. Whether or not his punishment was fair is certainly up for debate, we suppose. Some may believe that he shouldn’t be punished for anything he wrote or said on his own time, but obviously there’s the concern that his writings may cause the public to lose faith in their government.

Anyway, the blog, which had over 1,000 entries, has now disappeared completely.

We’re curious what our readers think about this guy’s punishment. Too harsh or too little? Do you think he should have quit–or been fired? Let us know below!

Image: Wikipedia (Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry)

[ Read in Japanese ]